A thick, juicy grilled hamburger is one of America’s favorite foods. It’s a personal preference if you make your burgers with ground chuck, ground round, ground sirloin or a combination of these. I like to mix chuck, which is fattier and makes the burger juicier, with sirloin that is tender. I’ve recently experimented with taking my ho-hum burgers and making them fabulous. It’s easier than you think to make a variety of delicious burgers. Choose ingredients you like. Check your spice rack, look in your pantry and raid the refrigerator, you will be inspired.
I started my quest to make restaurant style burgers at home when menu prices started rising and I thought, “Hey, I can do this myself for a lot less money.” If you need some help getting started here are a couple of recipes for inspiration.
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter
11 large onion, thinly sliced
1 package taco seasoning
4 slices jalapeno jack cheese
4 Kaiser rolls
In medium bowl combine ground beef, seasoned salt and lemon pepper. Shape into four patties. Grill to desired doneness. Meanwhile in medium skillet, melt butter. Add onion and taco seasoning, mix well. Cook onion over medium heat until soft and transparent. Top each burger with onion and jalapeno jack cheese. Grill until cheese is melted. Place each patty on a Kaiser roll and top with lettuce and tomato slice, if desired.
The next recipe I got from my sister-in-law a few years ago. I tweaked the seasonings a bit and changed the name to add gourmet. This really is a gourmet burger at home. I like to serve them on onion rolls that I get in the grocery store bakery.
Gourmet Spinach Stuffed Burgers
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 cup sliced fresh onion rings
½ cup pinot noir wine
10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
Fresh ground pepper
3 pounds ground round
1 tablespoons garlic powder
6 Hamburger rolls
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender about 15 minutes. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan. Fold in the spinach, 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, us until all the liquid has been absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a bowl combine the ground meet with garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and pepper. Blend the seasonings into the meat with your hands and divide the mixture into 12 – ½” thick patties. Divide the spinach mixture evenly among 6 of the patties, mounding it in the center of each and leaving a 1″ border all the way around. Top each with another patty and use your fingers to seal the edges of the meat together, forming a package around the filling.
Grill burgers to desired doneness. Meanwhile toast the rolls. Place one burger on each roll and serve with assorted condiments, if desired.
Makes 6 burgers.
Another easy way to dress up a bland burger is to stuff it with the cheese. Start with a block of your favorite cheese. I like to use mozzarella or Cheddar. Slice some thin slices and set aside. When forming your burgers, make a thin patty, layer a couple slices of the cheese and place another thin patty on top. Don’t make the slices too thick or they won’t melt and you’ll just have chunks of cheese in the middle of your burger.
Make burgers more flavorful by a putting the ground beef in a bowl and adding some favorite ingredients. Mix in a tablespoon (per 1 pound of ground beef) of any of the following for more flavor. Don’t add all of the following but you can experiment with combinations that sound good to you. Check your pantry for other ideas.
Once you try mixing some new flavors into your burgers, you won’t regret it. You’ll quickly find what you and your family like and enjoy your own bistro burgers at home.